Making Music With Tennis Balls And Lego

We’ve seen a lot of interesting MIDI controllers, but this one uses some unconventional materials. The World’s Coolest Keystroke, built by [Audiobody], is made from a combination of tennis balls, Lego bricks, servos, and switches.

When a tennis ball is lifted up, a Lego arm is actuated. It looks like a servo is used to move the Lego arm so it hits a switch. An Arduino is used to detect this and send a message to their computer.

They use the device to control Ableton Live and play different clips depending on which tennis ball was removed. It’s an interesting way to control sound with a tactile interface, and it looks pretty nifty.

After the break is a short video of the device in action, but [Audiobody] says that they will be releasing more information soon. We’re looking forward to seeing other interesting controllers that they have in the works.

[Via Make]


10 thoughts on “Making Music With Tennis Balls And Lego

      1. I have to say I didn’t think much of this until I saw that video (as noted by my snarky post below), but that’s actually pretty neat.

        Although it should be noted the device in that video is not the same as this hack, I guess this must be version 2?

      2. Yeah, the show purpose of the thing was pretty much clear. In the end it’s just a very contrived way to hit keys on a keyboard*, which is not particularly hackpraiseworthy in my view. But then again, different strokes, and it was a slow news day.

        *) I’m pretty sure that, unlike what is stated in the article above, the Arduino controls the servos to the levers which hit a bog-standard USB keyboard mapped to Ableton Live.

  1. Seven note keyboard can’t be played on very fast or timely. Takes two hands to play two notes. Clips ain’t making music! Great DJ’s use vinyl or at least CD’s, the lesser are FJ’s (fake or file). Now music artists are just CJ’s, and usually others music at that.

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.